TitleA shape grammar interpreter for rectilinear forms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsTrescak T, Esteva M, Rodriguez I
JournalComputer-Aided Design
Pagination657 - 670
Date Published07/2012
KeywordsAI in design, Design syntetis, Shape grammars

Shape grammars play an important role in a new generation of tools for the analysis and design of products. Up until now there has been numerous attempts to create a general shape grammar interpreter, but most of the existing tools are either very specific in their purpose, have only limited functionality or were programmed for one operating system. In this work we present a tool named Shape Grammar Interpreter (SGI) for the automatic generation of designs. The developed shape grammar framework allows designers to automatically synthetise designs and to actively participate in the generation process. Great effort has been devoted to provide an interactive way of defining shapes and later using them in shape grammar rules and designs' generation process. The tool implements two different types of algorithms for the generation of designs. First, tree-search algorithms which store the state of the generation process in a tree structure and uses traditional tree-search algorithms to find the next rule to apply. Second, and most importantly, an optimized subshape detection algorithm. Hence, subshapes of the existing shapes can be detected and used in the generation process obtaining not only a wider set of designs but potentially more appealing ones. In this paper we also describe the architecture of the framework and provide a performance evaluation of proposed algorithms, showing a significant gain in performance. Potential applications of our research can be found in the educational field (i.e. architecture and arts) and in the automatic generation of architectural, mechanical and product designs.